Last updated: 17.06.11

Increased olive oil intake 'could prevent a stroke'

Catering businesses studying to receive a basic food hygiene certificate could be interested in scientific developments from dietary experts.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, French researchers have established a link between increased olive oil intake and limiting the chance of a stroke.

Scientists from the University of Bordeaux discovered that individuals over 65 who used the substance to cook with and as a dressing were 41 per cent less likely to suffer a brain aneurysm.

By examining the medical records of 7,625 people across three cities in France, the researchers were able to identify the health benefits of the substance.

Study author Cecilia Samieri said: "Stroke is so common in older people and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it."

Previous research into the cooking aid has revealed its ingredients could also be effective in reducing the chance of developing heart conditions, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.

The NHS urges the public to contact the emergency services if they display any of the telltale signs of a stroke - including drooping to the face, inability to lift the arms and slurred speech.